By: Ray Ricardo
Increasing numbers of obese people have driven up the rates for weight-loss surgeries. Weight-Loss Operation Statistics are soaring. In the United States, 20,000 weight-loss operations were performed in 1995. This year, 144,000 are predicted to be performed Obesity surgery has become big business, and medical centers have scrambled to start programs.
Researchers expressed their concerns over the operations being performed on children and teenagers and the number of doctors who were not properly trained and performing the surgeries.
Also, due to the drastic changes in the digestive system, most patients required heavy counseling on how to eat properly and which vitamins to take in order to avoid malnutrition or gaining the weight back. Reported risks of the surgery include bleeding, blood clots, bowel obstructions, and severe infections caused from leaks in the abdomen area where the stomach and small intestines had been cut open and sealed or reconnected.
Research showed that almost 30 percent of the people who had undergone the surgery experienced nutritional deficiencies that led to health conditions such as anemia and bone loss. Does it really make sense to pay $30,000 for an operation that is only necessary because people refuse to change their lifestyle and address the underlying causes of obesity, and undergo a surgery that is fraught with complications? It is far safer and better to treat morbid obesity with lifestyle and nutritional modifications. Lifestyle modifications needed for weight loss are well known: eat less, choose the right foods and exercise more. People however are less aware of certain equally important non drug and nonsurgical ways for weight reduction:
1. Hormonal supplementation with testosterone, Dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone and thyroid hormone in older people. Lack of these essential hormones are responsible for insulin resistance, a cause of adult diabetes and obesity. These can be supplied in the form of bioidentical hormones— hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones made in the body. They’re not found in this form in nature but are made, or synthesized, from a plant chemical extracted from yams and soy. Technically, the body can’t distinguish bioidentical hormones from the ones your organs produce. Many of these hormones are FDA-approved and available with a prescription at your local drugstore.
2. Tryptophan which has been banned for years by the FDA is now again available to the public and is a useful adjuvant in weight loss treatment. Obese patients have been shown to have low levels of tryptophan. Tryptophan allows your brain to produce serotonin, a substance responsible for satiety. Serotonin stops you from overeating.
3. Fiber, such as oats and barley which are rich in Beta glucans are another natural and effective means of reducing weight. Fiber adds bulk to food and causes satiety. In addition, it reduces the absorption of carbohydrates and calories. It has also been proven to blunt the post meal surge in glucose and insulin in the blood stream, decreasing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
4. There are now natural substances that have been shown to increase body metabolism even while at resting state. Pomegranate seed oil and fucoxanthine, a carotenoid derived from seaweed are two powerful adjuncts to your weight loss plan. These two will burn your fat, especially the dangerous form of fat around your abdomen and around your abdominal organs even while you are sleeping.
5. Choose the right kind of foods. Avoid saturated fat and trans fat and avoid overcooking your foods at high temperatures. Foods cooked at temperatures over 250 degrees have been shown to damage body proteins and cause free radical damage to our tissues.
6. Increase insulin sensitivity by taking nutrients such as chromium and magnesium. Grapefruit has been shown to help obesity and diabetes by reducing levels of insulin and glucose. They believe the enzymes found in grapefruit affect the way the body deals with sugar and makes it less likely to be laid down as fat. This may help the body to use food for energy more efficiently and reduce the amount as stored fat, they explain. Because of this finding, researchers say eating grapefruit may help protect obese people from diabetes.
A comprehensive non surgical fat-loss program which includes improving insulin sensitivity, achieving youthful hormone balance, controlling the rate of carbohydrate absorption, increasing physical activity, normalizing brain serotonin, restoring energy expenditure rate, and adopting a long-term healthy eating strategy is a safer and better choice than obesity surgery.
Dr. Ray Ricardo is a board certified pathologist and has been in practice for 35 years. He trained at New York University, Bellevue Medical center and N.Y. Veterans Medical Hospital. His main interest and subspecialty is Immunopathology. He is currently chairman and president of Totalmed Corporation http://www.totalmedsubic.com, a health delivery company and International College of Integrative Medicine, a teaching and training institution for complementary medicine.